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New technology to tackle feral pigs in Manjimup and Northcliffe has been funded by the Federal Government.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said animals and weeds cost farmers about $4 billion a year in livestock losses, disease transmission and controls and weed management costs.

A program to develop aerially deployed thermal sensors to detect and quantify feral pigs aims to tackle feral pig populations and strengthen WA’s agriculture industry.

“Issues around feral pigs are regularly raised by farmers in my electorate of O’Connor,” Mr Wilson said.

“Feral pigs significantly impact on productivity and environmental resources and it is important we develop effective management practices to monitor their populations.”

Mr Wilson said thermal sensors can increase detection rates and overcome difficulties associated with monitoring populations.

The project will evaluate the effectiveness of aerially-deployed thermal sensors compared with traditional monitoring techniques in detecting feral pig population response to management activities. It will also do a comparative cost benefit analysis of the techniques.

The Australian Government is supporting farmers and the community to tackle pest animals and weeds through the Control Tools and Technologies for Established pest Animals and Weeds Competitive Grants Program, which is funding 23 projects with a share of $10.5 million.

The program is part of the $50 million investment in the Established Pest Animals and Weeds measure of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australia Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.